GRANITE PEAK PUBLICATIONS: Accompanying travelers to the national park since 2002

Advance reader copies are here

Advance reader copies are here

Through Early Yellowstone advance reader copyExciting news! The advance reader copies of Through Early Yellowstone: Adventuring by Bicycle, Covered Wagon, Foot, Horseback, and Skis arrived at Granite Peak Publications last week. Now I can send them out to colleagues, potential reviewers, and our distributor, and they can find out what we have been working so hard on! While editor Janet Chapple’s research goes all the way back to 2002, my review of the manuscript began in December 2014. I helped Janet to shape it into its current form of eleven main selections and ten short excerpts or poems. Two prominent authors we unfortunately had to leave out to make a reader-friendly, reasonable-sized book were Ernest Thompson Seton, the famous writer of animal stories and Boy Scouts of America founder, and Sir Archibald Geikie, a nineteenth-century geologist. But the book includes delightful stories by skier Billy Hofer, Pulitzer-prize-winning author Ray Stannard Baker and artist Anne Bosworth Greene, among others.

One of the uses for this early version of the book is the American Booksellers Association Advance Access program. When you go into your local independent bookstore, have you ever noticed a monthly flyer with the Indie Next List? If you haven’t, pick it up some time. Each book is given a short but pithy and passionate review by one of the staff members at an independent bookstore. I am making eleven of these advance reader copies available to booksellers to peruse, read, consider for their stores, and we hope recommend for the Indie Next list.

We will definitely keep you posted on this site’s Reviews page when we do get a quotable comment.

—Editor Beth Chapple

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Review of National Parks Adventure 3D

National Parks Adventure still with Muir and Roosevelt

Reenactment of John Muir and President Teddy Roosevelt’s camping trip in Yosemite Valley to discuss the future of a National Park system.

Today I had the chance to preview National Parks Adventure 3D, a new IMAX movie that opens nationwide this month. Places to see it include the science museums of Philadelphia, Portland, and Seattle, the aquariums of Chattanooga and Omaha, and the natural science museum in Houston. The giant-screen format is perfect for immersing oneself in awe-inspiring footage of various of the larger national parks, including Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Glacier, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Crater Lake, and Bryce Canyon. I can promise a gorgeous view of Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone.

The songs to go with the wonderful colors and aerial views range from “Hallelujah” from the Shrek soundtrack to James Bay’s 2014 folk rock hit “Hold Back the River,” with, of course, “This Land is Your Land” as well. We also hear bird song, coyote howls, bear grunts, and running water.

According to ABC News, the filming lasted nine months and cost 12.5 million dollars. The narrator is Robert Redford. You can learn more at the film’s website.

But the movie is not only a compendium of beautiful sounds and images. There is a plot and plenty to admire as three adventure travelers climb and paddle in various parks. And the movie informs us about John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt, reenacting their historic three-day camping trip in the Yosemite Valley wilderness. It’s a fitting way to celebrate President’s Day weekend and this year’s centennial of establishing the National Park Service. I recommend you go and bring friends and family!

—Beth, Editor and Publisher

Photo credit: Courtesy of MacGillivray Freeman Films. Photographer: Barbara MacGillivray ©VisitTheUSA.com

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Robot will explore the depths of Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake Mount Sheridan

Part of Yellowstone Lake with Mount Sheridan

Just coming off the deadlines for suggesting changes to the designer’s files for my next book, Through Early Yellowstone, I want to pass on a delightful link from the Yellowstone Insider. On January 27th publisher Kevin Reichard passed on some interesting news published in Jackson Hole News and Guide. Hey! Sharing good stuff is what the Web is for, isn’t it?

My interest in microorganisms stems from a Yellowstone Institute class I took with researcher Anna-Louise Reysenbach way back in July 1999. Microbial research is a fascinating but very complex subject, and in recent years I’ve been learning and writing more about it. Take a look at my website “nuggets” from July 8 and 9, 2014, on “Yellowstone Park and the Quest for the Origins of Life.”

In a nutshell, some major research bodies, such as the USGS, NOAA, and several universities, are collaborating with the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration to build a research boat and diving robot that will explore the bottom of Yellowstone Lake.

If all goes as planned, starting next summer the robot will take pictures and return samples of what it finds there. This will follow up on lake bottom research reported by USGS scientist Lisa Morgan and colleagues as part of a series of articles published in 2007: “Integrated Geoscience Studies in the Greater Yellowstone Area,” USGS Professional Paper 1717.

[Revised Feb. 27, 2017—Ed.:] The Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration created a fascinating ten-minute video starring microbial ecologist Dr. Reysenbach that does not seem to be available any longer. Although the video does not show us any microbes (seen only under a microscope), it does show some views of the thermal vents on the ocean bottom, teaming with hitherto unknown life.

Photo credit: This photo from page 144 of Yellowstone Treasures, fourth edition (2013), was taken by Bruno Giletti.

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Over four million visitors enjoyed Yellowstone in 2015!

The National Park Service has announced that Yellowstone Park has just had another record year. Nearly 600,000 more people passed through the park’s five entrances in 2015 than in 2014, a total of 4,097,210.

As always, the West Entrance was the most popular, and more people visited in July than in any other month, with August and June just behind in numbers.

The NPS attributes this year’s popularity to lower gas prices, stepped-up marketing by Montana and Wyoming tourist bureaus, and the NPS’s own “Find Your Park” program. In addition, beginning last year, to encourage visitation, all families that have a fourth grade student may enter any national park without paying an entrance fee.

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All about fountain-type geysers

Geysers can be categorized as one of two types: cone and fountain. Let’s see what page 61 of Yellowstone Treasures has to say about fountain-type geysers.

Such geysers have a very broad pool rather than a cone or narrow vent, and they usually erupt in a series of bursts, sometimes beginning with a blue dome-shaped surge.

Great Fountain Geyser

Great Fountain Geyser (1996)

Great Fountain is perhaps Yellowstone Park’s largest fountain-type geyser. Eruptions usually range between 100 and 150 feet (30-45 meters) in height, and its vent is 16 feet (4.8 meters) across! In case you missed it, here’s Janet’s report on this blog about an early evening eruption of Great Fountain Geyser in 2014. She includes a video.

Another classic fountain-type geyser is Fountain Geyser, which may erupt as high as 100 feet (30 meters). Last year photographer and videographer Neal Herbert took a great short video of its eruption. Watch closely and you’ll see flashes of bright blue as steam bubbles explode and propel water from the crater (especially at the 50-second mark).

The most recent statistics of major geyser activity compiled by the National Park Service are from last November, “Current Activity of Selected Geysers.” When you travel there and want current predictions, you can either

  • call (307) 344-2751 or
  • follow @GeyserNPS on Twitter.

Great Fountain Geyser and Fountain Geyser are both in Lower Geyser Basin, but only the former is predicted, with an average interval of 10 hours 45 minutes (+/- 2 hours).

Find out more about geysers elsewhere on this website, including “Yellowstone Geyser Eruptions: How Do They Work?

—Beth, Publisher and Editor

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Holiday sale ends Friday

holiday candle Time is running out to get Yellowstone Treasures at a 20% discount off the list price. That means you pay just $19.96 for an award-winning, 400-page guidebook packed with maps, historical information, a field guide to the animals and plants, and more! And we updated many things even in the 2015 second printing. This price beats Amazon.com. To get the discount, just enter “HolidaySale” in the Voucher box in the shopping cart when you tap or click this button:

Buy now!

But hurry, the sale ends this Friday, January 8, 2016, at midnight.

Editor and Publisher, Beth Chapple

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Update on Through Early Yellowstone

Through Early Yellowstone cover

Janet Chapple’s early Yellowstone anthology, forthcoming June 2016

Janet’s next book will be published in time to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service. She has carefully selected and annotated travel stories from the first five decades of the park. The crown jewel of the book is the set of 1884 watercolors by Thomas H. Thomas, shown here for the first time outside Wales. We feature his image of Grand Prismatic Spring on the cover. Click on this picture for a larger image, and you can see two men and their horses standing close to the hot spring before any boardwalk was built.

There have been many steps along the way, beginning with Janet’s several years of research at historical societies, public and university libraries, and the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center Library. In 2014 Granite Peak Publications acquired the book and decided to issue it as a trade paperback. We sought feedback from friends and publishing experts, including sending out a survey that helped us switch from the tentative Magnificent Playground to the current title. The stories are told by active explorers and adventurers, so we wanted to express that in the subtitle, “Adventuring by Bicycle, Covered Wagon, Foot, Horseback, and Skis.” Our designer, Vicky Shea of Ponderosa Pine Design, is working on the second stage of page creation, altering image sizes and putting in the corrections that our proofreader found.

Already Amazon.com is offering pre-orders of the book. To find out more and browse the table of contents, go to the book’s web page, ThroughEarlyYellowstone.com.

Do you have questions for us about this new book? Be sure to comment below or use our contact form.

Warm wishes for the winter season,
Editor Beth Chapple

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Winter season opens in Yellowstone

[December 16: The snow cover at Old Faithful looks even better on the webcam than it did yesterday, as you can see in this late afternoon screen shot. I need to make a slight correction to yesterday’s post—]

OFG_Webcam_12_16_15

Starting today, December 15, 2015, three of Yellowstone’s entrances are open to over-snow vehicles, park officials announced. A fresh snowfall assured that the planned opening day can take effect, and snowcoaches and snowmobiles can enter through the West, South, and North Entrances. However, over-snow vehicles really take over at Mammoth Hot Springs, which is five miles from the North Entrance. Starting next Tuesday, December 22, the East Entrance will be open.

The road from the North Entrance to the Northeast Entrance is open year-round to wheeled vehicles, meaning the roads are plowed. Still, you might be wise to use all-season tires or carry chains.

If you’d like to read about my winter experiences in the park as well as about the wolf-watching trip taken by my friend Rita Reining last year and excerpts from a historical account of skiing through the park long ago, select “Winter” from this website’s “Categories” box.

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Let’s watch geyser videos!

While we wait for Yellowstone’s winter season to open (that happens on December 15th), let’s enjoy learning what happens inside a geyser. I thank Jeff Cross for getting me started on this, with his link to a geyser eruption in New Zealand.

This led me to a 2009 video that I had somehow missed. Brian Davis explains geyser action in a remarkable animation, for which he hand drew each frame of the animations (sort of like for early Disney movies?).

Go Giant! Go Giantess! Go Fan and Mortar! Go Steamboat! These are all wonderful but erratic and uncooperative geysers in Yellowstone—I’ve never ever seen Steamboat.

Giantess Geyser

Giantess Geyser

Our mapmaker Linton captured this eruption on September 5, 2001. It now appears on page 98 in Yellowstone Treasures. I flew home from the park that year on September 10th. You know what happened on September 11th.

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Giving thanks nine ways

male grouse display Yellowstone

Male dusky grouse displaying in Yellowstone National Park
(Click for larger image)

While Yellowstone has no wild turkey, there are several kinds of grouse and other similar birds in the back country. You might like this photo on Flickr by nature photographer Diana, of a female spruce grouse she saw at Dunraven Pass in the park.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, and taking a cue from Janet’s Acknowledgments and Best Sights of Yellowstone pages in Yellowstone Treasures, Updated Fourth Edition, here are some of the people and places we are thankful for:

  1. Artist Point, an incomparable view of the Lower Falls and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River
  2. our geology advisers, Bruno Giletti and Jo-Ann Sherwin, along with our other team members
  3. the Geyser Observation and Study Association and other supporting organizations
  4. Great Fountain Geyser, whose tall and exciting eruptions are safe to witness at close range
  5. Inspiration Point, with its outstanding view of Canyon colors
  6. Old Faithful Inn, the immense hundred-year-old log building that rivals its namesake geyser in beauty and interest
  7. the park rangers who protect Yellowstone and educate visitors
  8. the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center
  9. you, our readers, who have kept us going since 2002!

Photo credits: The dusky grouse is an NPS photo in the public domain.

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